Samsung hasn’t been forthright with information about its upcoming Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates. However, that doesn’t mean that the canvas is blank. In an effort to paint a clearer picture for Samsung device owners, we’ve pieced together rumors, official information and speculation in an effort to bring some clarity to owners of the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2 and more.
In November of 2012, Google announced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean alongside the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10. The update, which is an incremental update to its original Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, did bring some likeable things to the table. Among them, lock screen widgets and a quick settings menu.
Manufacturers have been slow to roll out Android 4.2 updates with only a handful of non-Nexus devices currently running the older version of Android Jelly Bean. The slow roll outs, combined with the lack of information, have definitely left device owners on edge. Complicating things is the fact that Google just released another Android update, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is currently hitting Google’s Nexus devices and will be coming to some devices in the future. And as we’ve learned, some of those devices will be Samsung-made.
For Samsung device owners in particular, Android updates represent more than just features from Google. They typically come outfitted with new features from Samsung as well. In the case of the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3, Android 4.2 figured to have some features from the new version of TouchWiz found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Needless to say, anticipation was running high. In particular, for Galaxy Note 2 owners, who have not received a major Android upgrade since launch.
In years past, companies could be counted on for upgrade time lines and information. Now, companies like Samsung have refused to release specific information in regards to updates so that they don’t set themselves up for failure. This, in turn, has left device owners in the dark.
Samsung isn’t talking about the Android 4.2 or Android 4.3 updates for many of its devices, but that doesn’t mean there is an absence of information. In fact, there is enough to piece together basic and informative outlines in regards to which Samsung devices will be getting which updates.
* Samsung Galaxy S4
No doubt about it, the Samsung Galaxy S4, which runs Android 4.2 out of the box, will get Android 4.3, it’s just a matter of when. We’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update roll out, a good sign for the regular device. Still, there is no release date in sight.
Based on the release of the Galaxy S3, which arrived with software that was soon outdated, Samsung is likely working hard to get its Galaxy S4 updated to the latest software, if not to please users but to better prepare it for the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update later this year.
In the case of the Galaxy S3, we saw it arrive in late May, the Android 4.1 update land in July and the Galaxy S3 get Android 4.1 in late September. Android 4.1 was a much bigger update than Android 4.3, so we expect a shorter time frame. Don’t expect Samsung to lavish Galaxy Note 3 features on it right out of the gates. That’s more suitable for a massive Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update next year.
The update may not be right around the corner, but it should be the first Samsung device to get the Android 4.3 update.
* Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is the company’s Galaxy S4 variant that is water resistant. It debuted on June 20th and was released only a few short weeks ago. Like the Galaxy S4, it runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box which means that it is a shoo in to get Android 4.3 at some point down the road.
We fully expect it to get it after the original Galaxy S4, based on release timing and based on adoption rate (the Galaxy S4 is likely more popular than the Active). We still haven’t seen any information emerge in regards to its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update but once the update rolls out for the regular device, owners should be in close proximity to Android 4.3.
* Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
Like the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Active, Samsung’s smaller Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 mini, is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Like the others, it should get Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at some point down the road as well.
However, this isn’t a flagship smartphone and there is also no telling how widely adopted it is. These are key things to consider as they may prolong the wait for Galaxy S4 mini users as Samsung focuses its resources on more pressing matters like updates to its Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note models.
* Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung’s new camera phone that utilizes a 16MP sensor for high quality photos. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box as well though like the Galaxy S4 mini, it’s more of a niche device rather than a flagship.
We fully expect it to get Android 4.3, there are no signs that it will be without it, but again, owners will want to temper their expectations as Samsung focuses in on its big name, widely adopted smartphones.
* Samsung Galaxy S3
This is where things start to get a little confusing. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was originally thought to be getting Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an update that was to contain at least some features from the Samsung Galaxy S4. It will likely still get features from the Galaxy S4, they will likely just be coming with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean instead.
Originally, we had heard that Android 4.2 for the Galaxy S3 would roll out to owners in July or August. Just about a month later, we reported a rumor that suggested that the update may have been cancelled in favor of Android 4.3, something that at the time, seemed a little off. After all, we had seen the update leak so we knew that Samsung was working on the software.
Then the evidence mounted. We saw the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.2 update cancelled by one carrier. We saw the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update leak. And we saw Samsung roll out Android 4.2 for lesser devices, something that seemed to point to Samsung skipping Android 4.2 for Android 4.3.
Today, we saw German carrier Telekom claim that it has cancelled Android 4.2 in favor of Android 4.3, putting the Galaxy S3 Android 4.2 update into serious doubt.
From the looks of things, the Android 4.2 update is unlikely for the Galaxy S3. And unfortunately, this likely means that a release that was originally set for July or August has been pushed back. For how long is unclear but we sincerely doubt it gets Android 4.3 before the Galaxy S4.
Rumors have suggested late fall, possibly in November, and for the moment, that’s what owners have to go on.
* Samsung Galaxy S2
The Samsung Galaxy S2 update situation has been a bit of a mess. Previously, rumors had suggested that the Galaxy S2 would be stopping on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and not be getting Android 4.2. Then, we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S2 Android 4.2 update might have been cancelled due to issues with TouchWiz. TouchWiz was reportedly the culprit behind the Android 4.2 situations with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 as well.
Then, we saw Samsung roll out Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean for the Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus, a variant of the Galaxy S2. This doesn’t exactly confirm an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S2, but it does leave the door open.
The situation remains unsettled but at this point, should be hoping for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to make an appearance while ruling out Android 4.3 in the future.
* Samsung Galaxy Note
Like the Galaxy S2, the original Samsung Galaxy Note was rumored to be stopping on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. This remains a distinct possibility though owners shouldn’t expect anything to arrive soon.
Thus far, we haven’t seen anything leak out for the original Galaxy Note, a sign that there is nothing imminent for the aging phablet. However, owners can take solace in the fact that there haven’t been any rumors that have suggested that it won’t be getting Android 4.2 in the future.
So expect Android 4.2, we just wouldn’t expect Android 4.3.
* Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Last but not least, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Like the Galaxy S3, it was originally expected to get Android 4.2, an update that would likely come with some features from the Galaxy S4. However, that has been thrown into serious doubt by Australian carrier Telstra, which says that Samsung pulled the update in favor of a newer version of Android.
Throw in the status of the Galaxy S3 Android 4.2 update and it’s clear that Samsung has likely skipped over Android 4.2 in favor of Android 4.3 for the Galaxy Note 2. Again, no time table for the update but it’s not likely to roll out any time soon.